Awesome finds at the Jacksonville Book Fair
This past weekend was the Friends of the Jax Library Book Sale. They hold it every year at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds. It takes place in a giant expo building filled with boxes and boxes of books that the library no longer needs. They sell them off on the cheap to raise money. Paperbacks were fifty cents, softcovers were one dollar and hardbacks were 2 dollars. Not a bad deal. When my wife and I went on Saturday afternoon I thought everything would be picked over leaving nothing but old cookbooks and Self-Help guides. Suprisingly, even though the sale started late Thursday and continued all day Friday, there was still PLENTY of books to be searched and picked through by late Saturday afternoon. I was very impressed.
I love going to book fairs and looking through old stacks and boxes of books. Old book stores, flea markets, garage sale stores, book fairs, you name it, I can get lost for hours (ask my wife). So for me, this book fair was a blast. I love seeing all the old, outdated manuals and reference books, as well as the cheesy romance and fiction novels that have become anachronistic. You can find awesome old computer books for machines that haven’t existed in at least ten years next to paperback novelizations of movies from the late ’70s. The wide spectrum is what makes it all fun.
While digging through all the boxes of books I came across some awesome finds. I bought some, took pictures of others. I thought I might share with you some of the most fun stuff. Let’s begin…
Beaches II – I’m not surprised that the Jacksonville Public library is trying to sell off its back stock of this Beaches sequel. What does surprise me is that I only found one copy in the bins to be sold. I expected crates of this book to be trucked in and dumped in the corner, given free to anyone that happens to walk past. Originally published in 1991 as just I’ll Be There, this was Dart’s sequel to the tear-jerking, my mother loving, Beaches. It picks up right after the movie/book and gives us another 300 pages of sappy torture as CeeCee tries to raise her dead friend’s (and did you ever know? she’s her hero) daughter. Beaches II: I’ll Be There…now playing, in my worst nightmares.
The Third Twin – I’ve never read this book, however I did watch the TV movie from 1997 starring Jason Gedrick (the guy from Iron Eagle) and Kelly McGillis (the chick from Top Gun). And it might be one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It’s right up there with Dick Tracy it’s so bad. The acting is terrible, the special effects are awful, the script is mind-bogglingly bad. The supreme awfulness alone has forever tainted this book. Just looking at it gives me flashbacks to Jason Gedrick acting against a special effects double of himself. It’s enough to give anyone epileptic seizures. As for what it’s about, it deals with cloning people and raising them in separate environments to test out the whole Nature v Nurture argument. After that movie, I’m inclined to buy this book just to keep it out of someone else’s hands. Maybe use it when my toilet paper runs out.
How to Make Love – Yes, I found this at the Jacksonville PUBLIC Library Book Fair. I think I may have to call my lawyer, though, my name should be on this book considering I WROTE IT (hellooooo, ladies!).
VCR repair manuals! Awesome! I can now continue watching those videos of my 5th birthday party and all of those early ’90s NBA games without fear of the VCR crapping out on me at any moment. Now, I can just fix it on my own. However, it would probably be cheaper to just buy a new VCR off eBay. These books don’t specify, but you have to assume they are VHS specific. It would have been even cooler finding Betamax repair manuals. I wonder why I didn’t find any 8-track repair manuals, or a laser disc repair manual?
How to Build a Palm Robot – Have you ever wanted your own mechanical army to take over the world? Do you have some old Palm Pilots (or other PDAs) lying around collecting dust? Now you can turn them into tiny crawling, mechanical crabs of death that will help you do just that. After buying this book, all you’ll need is 400 dollars for metal, wire and a robotic software interface, a few hundred henchman, a mego-maniacal ego and a secret lair. Very soon, you’ll be the leader of your own giant, death squad of creepy, crawling PDAs that obey your every command!! Soon, the world will be YOURS!!!!!! Mu-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!! Now if only everyone would stop laughing at the useless, gyrating robots that can barely walk across the floor because the processors in those old PDAs are barely enough to power a Swatch watch.
Defending the Galaxy – I thumbed through this little tome of awesomeness a bit this weekend. It is a treasure trove of video game goodness. Published in 1982, it shows you how to act and dress like a video-gamer (yes, there are pictures). This little jewel deserves it’s own blog article, and it’ll get it, so I’m not delving much further into it. Just know, that it’s AWESOME!
Anyway, I had fun this weekend at the book fair. If you ask my wife, you may get a different story. When it comes to things like this, she gets a little ADD. I walked around thumbing through thousands of used books while she went from table to table and almost covered the whole building in like 10 minutes. She was sweet to sit and patiently wait for me to finish though. That’s why I love her.
So, I know you are wondering, what did I really wind up buying? Well, the only book above I paid money for was Defending the Galaxy. I also bought four books that are based on the television show Angel, a book by Piers Anthony called Killobyte and another book called The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer. For fifty cents a pop, it doesn’t matter if they suck. Plus, it gives me something new to read and that’s always good.
There were two books I found that I considered for like 30 minutes before I wound up putting them away. The first was a hardcover of Robert Bloch’s classic Psycho. I’ve been wanting to read that for years, but I have a big backlog of books to read and I wasn’t sure when I’d get to it. And two bucks for a 130 page novel was a little steep when I’m buying 350+ page paperback novels for fifty cents. Besides, I believe I can find it on Paperbackswap.com or eBay for cheaper than that. The other book I considered is called Naked Came the Stranger by Penelope Ash. This book has a sordid little history of its own that I plan on detailing in a future blog article. The story behind this book is almost as crazy as the actual story in the novel. I actually regret not picking it up, but I think I can find it elsewhere also fairly easily.
Well, that’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed my little sojourn into the world of used book buying. I know I had a blast. Have a good week everyone, see you on the other side.